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Posted On Monday, 05.27.2013 / 8:15 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2013 NHL Combine

Defenseman Nurse recovering from finger surgery

TORONTO -- Sault Ste. Marie defenseman Darnell Nurse said he was just as surprised as everyone else when informed he would need surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his left ring finger at the end of the season.

Nurse said he was playing with his injured finger throughout most of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs. Following his team's six-game series loss to the Owen Sound Attack in the opening round, during which Nurse had one goal, four points and six penalty minutes, he was advised to have surgery performed.

"I was playing in the playoffs with it and all of sudden the season was over and I couldn't play for Canada at the World Under-18 Championship because I needed surgery," Nurse told NHL.com. "It was disappointing because I wanted to keep playing hockey whether with the Greyhounds or the U-18's. But now I'm almost at the point where I'm at 100 percent, and I looked at it as better to get it done now before it gets any worse."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 12:18 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2013 NHL Combine

Top prospects set for NHL Scouting Combine

TORONTO -- After the Memorial Cup final is staged at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon on Sunday (May 26), it's off to Toronto for the start of the 2013 NHL Scouting Combine.

Numerous interviews and those infamous bike tests await those future NHL stars of tomorrow.

The first day of the Combine should be a relatively slow one while players are interviewed by NHL teams within their stationed headquarters. NHL.com will be here all week, logging exclusive daily stories and video. This event is a great opening prelude to the 2013 NHL Draft at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on June 30.

The NHL Scouting Combine will give NHL clubs a chance to evaluate 101 of the top North American and European hockey prospects in the world. The interviewing phase and new element being added to the Combine this year -- the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) -- will be Monday through Thursday. The fitness portion of the testing at the Toronto Convention Centre will be Friday and Saturday.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.23.2013 / 2:13 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Bruins' Dougie Hamilton shares draft memories

NEW YORK -- Boston Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton may be two years removed from hearing his name called at the NHL Draft, but he still remembers it as if it were yesterday.

The Bruins selected the 6-foot-5, 199-pounder with the ninth choice in the first round of the 2011 Draft at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. Hamilton realizes that draft day will be a whirlwind for many of the top prospects, particularly those at the top end of everyone's draft board.

He took the time out of his busy Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule to discuss that memorable moment with NHL.com.

"I think most importantly, players just need to try and enjoy it as much as you can," Hamilton told NHL.com. "I think it's definitely a different process where you don't really know where you're going and, obviously, it means a lot where you're going to be living and things like that.

"But most of all, you have to soak it in and really enjoy it."


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Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 4:22 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Krug fast tracks from college to Stanley Cup Playoffs

NEW YORK -- Boston Bruins rookie defenseman Torey Krug is certainly living the good life.

It's amazing when you consider the undrafted 5-foot-9, 180-pound lefty was just finishing up his final season at Michigan State University a season ago before signing an entry-level contract with the Bruins on March 25, 2012.

Now he's playing a key role for the team in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers. Despite the fact he didn't experience the thrill of hearing his name announced at the NHL Draft, he told NHL.com it was probably a blessing in disguise.

"Yes, it's your childhood dream to hear your name called [at the draft], but it's not the end of the world," Krug said. "If you're going to make it to the NHL, you're going to make it, there's nothing that will stop you. You have to have that mindset, and maybe use it for motivation and work harder. But if you're out there, they're going to find you and you have to have faith in yourself."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 3:58 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Bruins understand fourth win will be the hardest

NEW YORK -- There is no need to remind the players and coaching staff of the Boston Bruins that winning the fourth game of a best-of-7 series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is never easy.

The Bruins failed to secure that fourth win in 2010 after gaining a 3-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, losing in seven games. This year's team almost blew a 3-1 series lead against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the conference quarterfinals but rallied for a 5-4 overtime victory in Game 7 on May 13 at TD Garden.

Boston now finds itself in familiar territory against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Bruins, who hold a 3-0 series lead over the Rangers, are hoping to seal the deal Thursday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS).

"You learn from the past and live in the moment, but you don't live in the past," Bruins coach Claude Julien said following his team's optional practice Wednesday at MSG. "So right now, we're living in the moment and I like where our team is -- the attitude and approach.

"If we don't take the same attitude we did [Tuesday in a 2-1 victory], we shouldn't expect to win the hockey game."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 9:09 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Domi's incredible pass highlight of Memorial Cup

London Knights forward Max Domi may play the game another 20 years and never duplicate the incredible between-the-legs pass that resulted in a highlight-reel goal Monday against the Portland Winterhawks during round-robin play at the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup Tournament in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

It occurred in the second period of an eventual 6-3 loss. With the Knights trailing 3-1, the 5-foot-9.25, 197-pound forward, No. 19 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft, took a feed from Seth Griffith in the right circle before moving down the slot. Just as he gained the area between the circles near the right hash, Domi shifted the puck from his backhand to his forehand, pushing it between his skates and lifting a pass to teammate Bo Horvat at the bottom of the left circle.

Horvat batted the puck past Portland goalie Mac Carruth for his first goal of the Memorial Cup.

"It was just a break-in on the power play and that's all I really had left and it was lucky, for sure," Domi told the London Free Press.
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Posted On Monday, 05.20.2013 / 4:23 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Stevens, Quenneville know how family members feel

Forwards John Stevens and Peter Quenneville of the Dubuque Fighting Saints can take great pride in the fact they have something in common with their respective family members in the National Hockey League -- a Cup championship.

Dubuque earned its second Clark Cup as the champion of the United States Hockey League on May 17 when it scored a 3-2 overtime victory over the Fargo Force in Game 3 to complete a sweep in the best-of-5 series in Fargo.

"This feels unbelievable -- this is the closest group of guys I've ever been a part of," Stevens told the league's website. "Right from the first day, we really bonded and were a tight-knit group. All year our main goal was to win the Clark Cup, and it finally came true."


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Posted On Monday, 05.20.2013 / 12:25 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Jones, MacKinnon head list of Combine invitees

Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks and Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin of the Halifax Mooseheads head the list of 101 players that have been invited to take part in the NHL Scouting Combine.

Seth Jones, Jonathan Drouin, Nathan MacKinnon, NHL Draft (Getty Images / Halifax Mooseheads)

The Combine will be held May 27 to June 1 in Toronto.

The list of prospects includes the top 79 players on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft.

"It's just a matter of showing the teams what you can do," Jones told NHL.com about the Combine. "I don't think anyone should go in nervous … I'm certainly not looking at it that way. It should be a fun experience."

Jones, MacKinnon and Drouin currently are starring for their respective teams in the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The Memorial Cup will conclude with the championship game on May 26.

Central Scouting is anticipating 86 North American players total, including the top seven goalies from its final ranking of North American goaltenders. The top 15 European prospects, including top-ranked goalie Juuse Saros, also have been invited.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 3:53 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Cammarata receives multiple USHL accolades

Forward Taylor Cammarata of the Waterloo Black Hawks in the United States Hockey League on Wednesday was named USHL Forward of the Year and Player of the Year as determined by league coaches and general managers.

The 5-foot-7, 156-pound left-handed shot, who is No. 193 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top 2013 draft-eligible North American players, led the USHL with 93 points (38 goals, 55 assists) in 59 regular-season games.

"His smarts and creativity make him a good prospect," Central Scouting's David Gregory told NHL.com.

Cammarata's point total was the second-highest in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present), following the 104 points (54 goals) produced by Kevin Roy of the Lincoln Stars in 2011-12.


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Posted On Tuesday, 05.14.2013 / 12:56 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Nurse, Barkov to sit out fitness portion of Combine

Barkov
Nurse

Injuries late in the season and subsequent surgery for prospects Aleksander Barkov of Tappara in Finland and Darnell Nurse of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League will keep both players from participating in the fitness portion of the 2013 NHL Scouting Combine, scheduled May 31 and June 1 at Toronto International Centre.

Both players currently are rehabilitating from postseason surgeries and will attend the Combine to interview with NHL scouts and general managers during the six-day event that begins May 27. While both players will undergo medical examinations, they will forego any physical fitness testing.

Barkov, a center, sustained an upper-body injury on the first shift of his team's playoff game against IFK Helsinki on March 27 and was sidelined the remainder of the postseason. He had 21 goals, 48 points and a plus-18 rating in 53 regular-season games for Tappara. NHL Central Scouting's No. 1-ranked European skater had four assists and a plus-3 rating in five playoff games.


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Quote of the Day

I'm here to develop a winning culture and a winning team. There is a bright future ahead of this team.  A lot of young, great hockey players here and on the way … a fan base that's passionate about the game of hockey.

— Dan Bylsma after being introduced as new coach of the Buffalo Sabres